A 335 style guitar

Best 335 Style Guitars: Expert Insights on Choosing Your Dream Semi-Hollow Guitar

As a guitar specialist and professional writer, I’m excited to dive into the world of 335 style guitars, a revered category in the guitar universe. This introduction will guide you through the intricacies of these iconic instruments, helping you understand their unique characteristics and why they’ve become a staple among guitarists across various genres.

Introduction to 335 Style Guitars

335 style guitars, known for their distinctive semi-hollow body design, have carved a niche in the guitar world, offering a perfect blend of tonal warmth, aesthetic appeal, and versatile playability. This guide will explore:

  1. What Are 335 Style Guitars? – An in-depth look at their unique design features, history, and the tonal qualities that set them apart from other guitar types.
  2. Key Factors in Choosing a 335 Style Guitar – We’ll discuss what to look for when selecting a 335 style guitar, including build quality, pickups, and playability, to ensure you find the perfect match for your musical needs.
  3. Best 335 Style Guitars of 2023 – A curated list of the top 335 style guitars available this year, each with a detailed review and links for purchase. This list will cater to a range of preferences and budgets, ensuring every reader finds a guitar that resonates with their style.

What Are 335 Style Guitars?

The 335 style guitar, epitomized by the legendary Gibson ES-335, is a semi-hollow electric guitar known for its unique construction. It combines elements of solid-body and hollow-body designs, featuring a solid center block running through the otherwise hollow body.

This design offers the warm, resonant tones of a hollow-body while significantly reducing feedback issues commonly associated with fully hollow guitars. The 335 style is renowned for its versatility, comfortably fitting into genres like blues, jazz, rock, and beyond.

Best 335 Style Guitars of 2023 (with Purchase Links)

  1. Epiphone ES335 Semi Hollowbody
  2. Gretsch G6120T-59 Rancher Falcon
  3. Hagstrom Viking Semi-Hollow
  4. Ibanez AS53
  5. Reverend Airwave 12 String Semi Hollow

This comprehensive guide is designed to enlighten both seasoned players and newcomers to the guitar world about the rich legacy and musical prowess of 335 style guitars. Whether you’re a gigging musician, a recording artist, or a hobbyist, this guide aims to help you find your perfect 335 style guitar.

1. Epiphone ES335 Semi Hollowbody

Timeless Classic Redefined
Epiphone ES335 Semi Hollowbody Guitar

The Epiphone ES335 Semi Hollowbody is a testament to the enduring quality and versatility of the 335 design. This guitar, with its layered maple body and solid maple center block, offers a rich, resonant tone combined with sustain and reduced feedback, making it a favorite among a wide range of players. The mahogany neck and Indian laurel fingerboard ensure smooth playability, while the Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO Humbuckers deliver vintage-inspired tones that can handle anything from blues to rock.

Why We Love It:
  • Classic Design: The timeless semi-hollowbody shape is visually striking and tonally versatile.
  • Quality Pickups: Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO Humbuckers provide a wide tonal palette.
  • Great Value: Offers professional features at an accessible price point.
View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Someone Should Buy

  • This guitar offers the perfect blend of classic aesthetics and modern playability.
  • It’s suitable for a wide range of music genres, making it a versatile choice for any guitarist.

Technical Features:

  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Body: Layered Maple, Mahogany Neck
  • Pickups: Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO Humbuckers


The Epiphone ES335 Semi Hollowbody is a robust instrument that punches well above its weight class. With its superb build quality and versatile sound, it’s a great option for both beginners and seasoned players.


A well-rounded instrument that provides exceptional value for money and a high-quality playing experience.

This 335 Style Guitar is Perfect For:

Musicians seeking a versatile, reliable guitar suitable for a wide range of music genres.

2. Gretsch G6120T-59 Rancher Falcon

Vintage Elegance & Tone
Gretsch G6120T Brian Setzer Signature Nashville '59 "Smoke" Electric Guitar

The Gretsch G6120T-59 Rancher Falcon is a striking guitar that combines a jumbo body style with a rich, articulate tone. The solid Sitka spruce top and laminated flamed maple back and sides not only give it a stunning visual appeal but also contribute to its warm and resonant sound. Its mahogany neck and bound ebony fingerboard add to its smooth playability. The Fishman® Sonare pickup system ensures that the guitar's natural tone is accurately amplified.

Why We Love It:
  • Stunning Aesthetics: The flamed maple and gold hardware make it a visual masterpiece.
  • Fishman® Pickup System: Ensures high-quality amplified sound.
  • Comfortable Playability: Thanks to its "U"-shaped neck profile.
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Someone Should Buy

  • Ideal for players who appreciate vintage aesthetics and a rich, detailed sound.
  • Excellent for both stage performances and studio recordings due to its superior sound quality.

Technical Features:

  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Pickups: Fishman® Sonare System


The Gretsch G6120T-59 Rancher Falcon excels in delivering a vintage sound and feel. Its craftsmanship is top-notch, making it a dream guitar for many enthusiasts.


A high-end guitar that offers a blend of luxurious aesthetics and exceptional sound quality.

This 335 Style Guitar is Perfect For:

Players looking for a high-quality guitar with vintage charm and professional-grade sound.

3. Hagstrom Viking Semi-Hollow

Nordic Elegance Meets Versatility
Hagstrom Viking Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

The Hagstrom Viking Semi-Hollow is a guitar that stands out for its blend of Nordic elegance and musical versatility. Its semi-hollow body design provides a warm, rich tone and increased sustain. The hard maple neck and Resinator® fingerboard offer excellent playability. It features Hagstrom HJ-50 humbucker pickups that deliver a range of tones, from warm cleans to overdrive, making it suitable for various music styles.

Why We Love It:
  • Unique Design: The Viking aesthetics are both classic and distinct.
  • Versatile Pickups: Hagstrom HJ-50s provide a broad tonal range.
  • Playability: Smooth and responsive, suitable for various playing styles.
View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Someone Should Buy

  • Great for players who value unique aesthetics combined with versatile sound capabilities.
  • Its distinctive design and sound make it a standout choice for both live and studio settings.

Technical Features:

  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Neck: Hard Maple
  • Pickups: Hagstrom HJ-50 Humbuckers


The Hagstrom Viking Semi-Hollow is a beautifully crafted instrument that offers both visual appeal and sonic versatility, making it a favorite among diverse groups of players.


An excellent choice for those seeking a guitar with unique character and versatile sound.

This 335 Style Guitar is Perfect For:

Guitarists who want a distinctive-looking guitar with a wide range of tonal possibilities.

4. Ibanez AS53

Sleek Design, Versatile Sound
Ibanez AS53TF Electric Guitar

The Ibanez AS53 is a testament to the company's commitment to quality and versatility. This semi-hollow guitar features a mahogany body, providing a warm, resonant tone. The Ibanez Infinity R humbuckers offer clear, punchy sounds suitable for various music genres. Its thin body design and satin-finished mahogany neck ensure comfortable playability, making it an excellent choice for players of all levels.

Why We Love It:
  • Contemporary Look: The Tobacco Flat finish and cream binding offer a modern aesthetic.
  • Reliable Hardware: Stable tuning and solid bridge design.
  • Affordable Quality: A great balance of quality and price.
View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Someone Should Buy

  • Perfect for players who need a versatile instrument that’s comfortable for extended playing sessions.
  • Ideal for those looking for a sleek, modern design without sacrificing sound quality.

Technical Features:

  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Body: Laminated Mahogany
  • Pickups: Ibanez Infinity R Humbuckers


The Ibanez AS53 impresses with its sleek design and versatile sound, making it a popular choice for guitarists looking for an affordable yet quality instrument.


A great option for those seeking a stylish, versatile, and affordable semi-hollow guitar.

This 335 Style Guitar is Perfect For:

Musicians who need a versatile and stylish guitar that’s easy on the wallet.

5. Reverend Airwave 12 String Semi Hollow

12-String Modern Marvel
Reverend Airwave 12-string Semi-hollow Electric Guitar

The Reverend Airwave 12 String Semi Hollow is a modern take on the classic 12-string guitar. It features a semi-hollow Korina body with a Spruce top, delivering a full-bodied electric tone with warmth and articulation. The custom-voiced 9A5 single-coil pickups offer clarity and diverse tonal options, making it suitable for various music styles. The Bass contour knob and treble bleed circuit allow for precise tone shaping.

Why We Love It:
  • Superior Playability: Easy to play, with smooth action and excellent intonation.
  • Innovative Electronics: Custom-voiced pickups and versatile controls.
  • Robust Construction: Durable build quality and stable tuning.
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Someone Should Buy

  • Ideal for players looking for a high-quality 12-string guitar with modern features.
  • Perfect for achieving distinctive, rich 12-string tones in both live and studio settings.

Technical Features:

  • Body: Semi-hollow Korina with Spruce top
  • Pickups: Reverend 9A5 Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Gotoh 12-String with Independent Intonation


The Reverend Airwave 12 String Semi Hollow is an exceptional guitar that offers a unique playing experience, combining the traditional charm of a 12-string with modern playability and sound.


A top choice for players seeking a professional-grade 12-string guitar with a contemporary edge.

This 335 Style Guitar is Perfect For:

Guitarists who want to explore the unique soundscapes of a 12-string guitar with a modern twist.


Q1: What is a 335 style guitar?

A1: A 335 style guitar is a semi-hollow electric guitar, characterized by its distinctive design that blends elements of solid-body and hollow-body guitars. It features a solid center block running through the middle of an otherwise hollow body. This unique construction offers the warm, resonant tones of a hollow-body guitar while minimizing feedback issues, making it versatile and popular among various music genres. The Gibson ES-335 is the iconic model that defined this style.

Q2: Who plays a 335 guitar?

A2: The 335 guitar is favored by a diverse range of musicians across multiple genres. Iconic players like B.B. King, Chuck Berry, and Eric Clapton have famously used 335 style guitars. Its versatile nature makes it suitable for blues, jazz, rock, and even country musicians, appealing to a broad spectrum of guitarists from professionals to hobbyists.

Q3: Is ES-335 good for beginners?

A3: Yes, the ES-335 can be a good choice for beginners, especially those who are serious about their guitar journey. While it might be more expensive than typical beginner guitars, its easy playability, comfortable neck, and versatile sound make it a worthwhile investment. It’s suitable for a wide range of music styles, allowing beginners to explore various genres on a single instrument.

Q4: What are ES 335s good for?

A4: ES 335s are renowned for their versatility and are well-suited for a variety of musical genres. They excel in producing warm, rich tones with enough clarity and punch for blues and rock, while their full-bodied sound is also ideal for jazz and softer genres. The semi-hollow body design offers a unique tonal character that’s not too harsh for rhythm playing and not too mellow for lead parts, making ES 335s a favorite for both studio recordings and live performances.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right 335 Style Semi-Hollow Body Guitar

A 335 style guitar, Orange guitar amp, and record player.

When venturing into the world of semi-hollow guitars, especially those following the iconic 335 style, there are several key factors to consider. This guide aims to delve deep into the specifications and features that make these instruments so revered, providing insights for both seasoned players and those new to the guitar scene.

Understanding Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

  • Construction and Tone: Semi-hollow body guitars feature a design that sits between solid body and fully hollow guitars. They typically have a laminated maple body with a solid center block, which reduces feedback and increases sustain. This design offers a rich, warm tone with more resonance than a solid body but more focus and control than a fully hollow guitar.

Key Features to Consider

  1. Laminated Maple Body:
    • Tonal Impact: Laminated maple bodies are known for their durability and resistance to warping. This wood choice contributes to the guitar’s bright and clear tone, ideal for genres like classic rock and jazz.
    • Visual Appeal: Besides its tonal qualities, laminated maple has a distinct, often visually striking grain pattern, enhancing the guitar’s aesthetics.
  2. Genuine Mahogany Neck:
    • Playability: A genuine mahogany neck is not just durable but also provides a smooth playing experience. It’s important for the neck to feel comfortable in your hand, especially for complex chord progressions and solos.
    • Tonal Qualities: Mahogany necks add warmth to the guitar’s overall sound, complementing the brightness of the maple body.
  3. Neck Pickup Configuration:
    • Versatility in Sound: The neck pickup on a semi-hollow body guitar significantly influences its tonal capabilities. Look for options with versatile pickups that can handle everything from warm, rounded jazz tones to the sharper edge needed for classic rock.
  4. Budget Considerations:
    • Cheap Guitar vs. Investment: While there are budget guitars available in the semi-hollow body category, it’s crucial to differentiate between a cheap guitar and a budget-friendly, quality instrument. Investing a bit more can often lead to better build quality, sound, and longevity.

Expert Tips for 335 Style Guitars

  • Semi-Hollow Body Guitars in Different Genres: These guitars are not limited to just one genre. Their versatility makes them suitable for classic rock, blues, jazz, and even some modern pop. The semi-hollow design allows for a wide tonal palette, making them adaptable to various playing styles.
  • Choosing the Right Model for Your Needs: Consider how the guitar will be used. If you’re playing predominantly in a studio, look for models with superior tonal qualities. For live performances, focus on durability and feedback resistance.
  • Try Before You Buy: If possible, test various models. Pay attention to how the guitar feels in your hands, the ease of access to higher frets, and the responsiveness of the pickups.

Choosing the right 335 style semi-hollow body guitar involves balancing various factors like body material, neck construction, pickup configuration, and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, understanding these aspects will guide you in finding an instrument that not only sounds great but also inspires you to play your best. Remember, a good guitar should feel like an extension of yourself, enabling you to express your musicality without limitations.

Comparison of 335 Style Guitars with Other Guitar Types

A guitarist entertaining a crowd.

The 335 style guitar, with its semi-hollow construction and classic styling, holds a unique position in the guitar world. Understanding how it compares with solid body and fully hollow body guitars in terms of sound, playability, and usage can help players make more informed choices.

Sound Comparison

  1. 335 Style Guitars (Semi-Hollow)
    • Guitar Sounds: They offer a blend of the warm, resonant tones of hollow guitars with the clarity and sustain of solid body guitars. The semi-hollow construction results in a versatile sound that is rich and full, suitable for a variety of music genres.
    • Bridge Pickup and Neck Pickup: The bridge pickup tends to produce a brighter, more articulate sound, while the neck pickup gives a warmer, fuller tone. This versatility makes the 335 style a cool guitar choice for players seeking a wide tonal palette.
  2. Solid Body Guitars
    • Guitar Sounds: Solid body guitars are known for their clarity, sustain, and punchier, more precise sound. They are less prone to feedback, making them a reliable choice for high-gain settings.
    • Playability: Often featuring a sleeker design, they are generally considered more comfortable, especially for fast playing and intricate fretwork.
  3. Fully Hollow Body Guitars
    • Guitar Sounds: These guitars are characterized by their warm, rich, and resonant acoustic qualities. They are ideal for jazz and blues but can feed back more easily at high volumes or with high gain.
    • Classic Styling: Fully hollow guitars often feature vintage or classic styling, appealing to players looking for a traditional aesthetic.


  • 335 Style Guitars: These guitars strike a balance between the comfort of solid guitars and the depth of fully hollow guitars. The semi hollow construction offers a lighter body than most solid guitars, making them comfortable for longer playing sessions.
  • Solid Guitars: Tend to have a more consistent feel, easier handling, and are often preferred for genres that require fast, intricate playing, such as metal or shredding.
  • Fully Hollow Guitars: While offering a unique playing experience, they can be bulkier, which might affect playability, especially for smaller players or those used to slimmer solid-body guitars.

Usage in Different Situations

  • 335 Style Guitars: Ideal for situations where a blend of clean and overdriven tones is needed. They excel in genres like blues, rock, jazz, and even pop. The semi-hollow body with a Tune-O-Matic bridge offers a stable and versatile platform for both rhythm and lead playing.
  • Solid Body Guitars: Preferred in high-gain situations like hard rock or metal, where clarity and feedback control are crucial. They are also a popular choice for players looking for a solid guitar to handle effects-heavy playing.
  • Fully Hollow Guitars: Best suited for jazz, blues, or classic rock where a natural, warm, acoustic-like tone is desired. They are often chosen for their cool guitar aesthetics and classic styling, in settings where volume levels are moderate to prevent feedback issues.

In choosing between a 335 style, solid body, or fully hollow body guitar, consider the type of music you play, the guitar sounds you prefer, and the playability that suits your style. The 335 style guitars, with their semi-hollow construction, provide a versatile option that combines the best of both worlds, making them suitable for a wide range of musical settings.

Whether it’s the stable tuning of a Tune-O-Matic bridge, the versatility of switching between bridge and neck pickups, or the need for a guitar that fits both clean and overdriven styles, each type of guitar has its unique strengths and ideal applications.


A black and white image of a 335 style guitar.

In the exploration of the Best 335 Style Guitars, we’ve delved into a realm where classic styling meets modern innovation, where the warmth of semi-hollow bodies resonates with the precision of solid construction. These guitars, known for their versatility and distinctive sound, offer something unique for every musician, from the jazz enthusiast to the rock aficionado.

As you contemplate adding one of these semi-hollow beauties to your collection, remember that the journey of finding the perfect guitar is as personal as the music you create. Whether it’s the rich, nuanced tones of a 335 style guitar or the distinct soundscapes of other types, each instrument has its own story to tell.

For those who are also venturing into other guitar realms, be sure to check out our comprehensive reviews and recommendations on other types of guitars. If the raw power of shredding is more your style, dive into our Top 9 Metal Guitars: Expert Reviews and Recommendations. Or, if you’re drawn to the legendary allure of a classic, explore our insights on The Best Fender Stratocaster Guitars.

Ultimately, the Best 335 Style Guitars are more than just instruments; they are companions in your musical journey. Each strum, each note, brings you closer to the heart of your musical expression. So, take your time, feel the music, and let your choice of guitar be the bridge to your audience’s soul.